Over a period of time, the jawbone atrophies or is absorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is insufficient bone for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients would not be candidates for placement of dental implants. However, we now have the ability to enhance bone in these areas. This enables us to place implants of the proper length and width and to better restore function and esthetic appearance.
The bone grafting procedures are referred to as either a sinus lift procedure, a ridge augmentation procedure, or a nerve repositioning procedure.
Sinus lift procedure
This procedure involves elevating the maxillary sinus membrane and placing a bone graft onto the sinus floor, adding depth to the bone in the back part of the upper jaw.
A bone graft is placed to increase the ridge height and/or width in areas where it has been severely resorbed.
The inferior alveolar nerve, which gives feeling to the lower lip and chin, may interfere with the ideal placement of dental implants in the lower jaw. In this case, the nerve is moved away from the intended implant site.
These procedures may be performed separately or together, depending upon each individual’s condition. There are several areas of the body which are suitable for attaining bone grafts. Sometimes bone grafts can be taken from inside the mouth. When a greater quantity of bone is required, it can be taken from the hip or the outer aspect of the lower leg.
These procedures can be performed in the out-patient surgical suite under IV sedation or general anesthesia. After discharge, bed rest is recommended for one day and physical activity is limited for one week